What exercises help prevent low back injuries in ice hockey?

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Good choices to help prevent injuries during ice hockey include floor bridges, prone iso-abs (plank), and floor cobra. To prevent lower back injuries specifically, it is important to train the core muscles to have good strength and endurance. Start with 1-3 sets of 12-20 repetitions of core stabilization exercises using a slow tempo. Hold each exercise for 2 seconds at the top position and rest for 30 seconds between sets. These basic core exercises involve little movement of the spine and hips. They are designed to work on building core muscle endurance and to teach you how to activate the core muscles using the drawing-in maneuver and bracing. Drawing-in is done by bringing the belly button in toward the spine or sucking in the stomach. Bracing is contracting the abs, lower back, and butt muscles at the same time. To perform the two-leg bridge, lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the ground about hip-width apart. Start the movement by pushing through the heels and driving the hips up in the air; hold at the top and then slowly return to the ground. To perform the prone-iso abs, or plank, lie on your stomach with the elbows under the shoulders and the forearms on the ground. Lift your body up until you are in a flat back position, hold for 2 seconds, and then return to the ground. To perform the floor cobra, lie face down with the head in a neutral position and bring the arms back. Rotate the hands so that the thumbs are up and then squeeze the butt, lower back, and middle back to lift your chest off the ground. To make the exercises more difficult, you can use single-leg versions or hold for a longer time at the top position.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.